India was on the verge of shutting down with a slumping economy, unemployment, worst of schools, shut down of all small to big scale factories and mills, with no list of solutions. During such troublesome times, when the nation expected a miracle for their never-ending daily life issues, an Act named ‘Citizenship Amendment Act‘ was introduced as oil in the burning fire.
The CAA was as usual welcomed by some and not by others, but it didn’t end this casually. This Act, as stated on papers, grants nationality to all the religiously persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from three countries, namely Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; who entered India before December 2014. This Act apparently excluded the Muslim section of the secular, democratic and independent India.
Even the introduction of this law by the Centre became discriminatory when a minority remained unintroduced, leaving a burning mark of shame on the soul of the Constitution. India is a nation with around 200 million Muslims, which is the second-largest majority in the world.
Exclusion of a community with such a solid figure by its government questions the security and dignity of that community. History has witnessed Muslim participation in the freedom struggle at a large scale. Despite the Partition, some believed in Gandhi and stayed, but never to witness another partition, a partition not just of the land, but of hopes, dreams, and aspirations of the Indian Muslims.
Many political parties, social activists, scholars, and lawyers condemned this unjust Act and even petitions were filed by lawyers against it. The main argument laid down by the government to support this Act was that a major section of the non-Muslims are persecuted in these three countries and some false data was also presented in the Lower House in its support. Citizenship defines the relationship between the nation and the people who constitute the nation.
It confers upon an individual certain right such as protection by the state, right to vote, and right to hold certain public offices among others, in return for the fulfillment of certain duties or obligations owed by the individual to the State. The Constitution of India under the first part of Article 15 assures no discrimination on grounds of race, caste, sex or religion to any of its citizens and proves this Act to be discriminatory and unconstitutional. Even here the government seems to no have shame and stands bold and brazen in its support.
This Act has raised many questions whose answers are still awaited by some thoughtful souls.
Atheists are the most persecuted fellows in any country. Their exclusion from this Act raises a big question to their security. Even past data and facts are enough to prove their persecution. In many countries, including Bangladesh, they are banned from laying down their views on religious matters under the act of blasphemy. While there is no law against apostasy in Bangladesh, cases of persecution of apostates are reported.
Many atheists and secular Bangladeshis who treat Islam “disrespectfully” have been attacked, including Humayun Azad, the target of a failed machete assassination, and Avijit Roy, who was killed with a machete. Many bloggers and human right activists have also been killed for just practicing their right to speech.
The Constitution of India bestows equal rights on every minority, and promises consideration in every step taken in the nation’s advancement. Democracy means to put the minorities first, but here, all the tables seem to have turned upside down.
Assam has witnessed many demographical changes in the past. Yet, the consequences of the NRC in the State are unimaginable to bear. More influx of these migrants would lead to a disappearance of culture, with the seven-sister States being the epicenter of this process.
The present scenario is enough to predict the future plight of our nation: more unemployment, roofless citizens, increment in the number of hungry stomachs, and the list goes on. When the government is unable to feed the present citizens, then how the upcoming ones can expect the same facilities for them? This would lead to nothing but an emergency of food, jobs, basic amenities and a lot more.
With all of this, the worst impact would be on our intelligence wings and a big question mark to be put on how safe will be our country from these three neighbours. This Act creates a lot of ease for other intelligence forces to breach our national privacy by joining our wings through this act.
And the list goes on with many questions and no answers.